Reverend Al Sharpton and daughter Dominique backstage at "Irena's Vow" on Broadway at The Walter Kerr Theater on April 23, 2009.
The Rev. Al Sharpton's daughter told a police officer in a profanity-laden rant that she cut him off in traffic because she was in a rush to get to a theater, prosecutors said Monday.
"You were driving too slow. I have a play to go to," Dominique Sharpton told an officer who pulled her over Oct. 30, prosecutors told a Manhattan judge.
Dominique Sharpton and the civil rights activist's ex-wife, Kathy, face charges including resisting arrest after the Harlem traffic stop.
Defense lawyer Michael Hardy said the women simply exercised their free-speech rights to complain.
Police said Dominique Sharpton veered out of her lane, ran a red light and forced another car to swerve out of her way. After being ticketed, she and her mother cursed at the officers, ignored orders to return to their cars and resisted being handcuffed, according to a criminal complaint. Kathy Sharpton pushed an officer with her hands, police said in the complaint.
Hardy said he would ask the court to dismiss the charges, all misdemeanors or violations, calling them "frivolous" and saying there were no grounds for the arrest.
"Since when did a verbal objection become criminal in America?" Hardy said.
The top charges are punishable by up to a year in jail.
Dominique Sharpton, 23, and her 53-year-old mother didn't enter a plea Monday. They declined to comment afterward, as did a spokeswoman for Al Sharpton. He didn't attend.
He railed about the arrest on Twitter on Nov. 1, questioning "how two unarmed women with no record could be taken in cuffs from a traffic dispute with NO personal or property damage involved," nor any allegations of drug use or drinking.